Siliguri, 21 February: The Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union (DTDPLU) affiliated to Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) is still demanding a separate tripartite meeting for the revision of tea workers’ wages under the jurisdiction of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). In making such a demand, the DTDPLU is defying the state government’s notification for a tripartite meeting for three areas in the region, including the Hills.
The state labour department has called a tripartite meeting in Siliguri on 25 February to discuss the tea workers’ wage hike and strike a tripartite agreement for three years with planters and operating trade unions in Darjeeling Hills, Terai and the Dooars.
“We will attend the tripartite meeting in Siliguri on 25 February on behalf of tea workers associated with tea plantations in the Terai-Dooars region, but not on behalf of the Darjeeling Hills, which is under the GTA,” the in-charge of the labour and employment department of the GTA, TC Roka, said.
Asked to explain the reasons, Mr Roka said: “We had made a bipartite agreement in 2011 with the Darjeeling Tea Association. Since the labour department has come under the GTA, we want the labour department to call a separate tripartite meeting for workers in the Hills and under the jurisdiction of the GTA.”
According to him they have approached a top official of the labour department and that it is now up to the department to do the needful. “We need to wait for the labour department’s decision,” Mr Roka said over telephone.
The joint labour commissioner, Mr Muhammad Rizwan, said no decision has been taken to hold a separate meeting for the Hills.
Trade unions affiliated to other political parties in the Hills, including the newly-formed Trinamul Congress’ INTTUC-backed trade union, will attend the scheduled Siliguri meeting. sns
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